UN in ‘runaway climate’ warning
The secretary-general of the UN has warned the world is facing “a direct existential threat” and must rapidly shift from dependence on fossil fuels by 2020 to prevent “runaway climate change”.
Antonio Guterres called the crisis urgent and criticised the lack of global leadership to address global warming.
“Climate change is moving faster than we are,” Mr Guterres said.
“We need to put the brake on deadly greenhouse gas emissions and drive climate action.”
He said people everywhere are experiencing recordbreaking temperatures, and extreme heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods “are leaving a trail of death and devastation”.
He pointed to Kerala, India’s worst monsoon flooding in recent history, almost 3,000 deaths from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, disappearing Arctic sea ice, some wildfires so big they send ash around the world, oceans becoming more acidic threatening food chains, and high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere threatening food security for billions of people.
Mr Guterres said scientists have been warning about global warming for decades, but “far too many leaders have refused to listen – far too few have acted with the vision the science demands”.
“We need to rapidly shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels,” he said.